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Charles Mann Makes the Free Throw Line His Home

Nobody in College Basketball will benefit more from the new NCAA Rules more than Charles Mann.

Charles Mann visited the Free Throw Line a lot in the 2013-14 season attempting 8.4 Free Throw attempts per game, but in 2014-15 this figure dropped to 6.7 Free Throw attempts per game.  What changed?  Officials were not emphasizing Freedom of Movement as they were in 2013-14, in an extension of when the officials stopped doing so during conference play of the 2013-14 season.  The other problem was the complete lack of clarity as far as block/charge situations, which left the calls either to complete randomness or subjectivity in 2014-15.

With greater clarity and deference to Freedom of Movement and verticality, Charles Mann should see a return to his 2013-14 Free Throw shooting parade.  Mann was second in the SEC in attempts at the charity stripe the past two years and tenth in the NCAA in 2013-14.  If Mann can hit the front end of one-and-one Free Throws with consistency, apply his knowledge of drawing fouls from last season and use the rules to his advantage he will shatter his figures from 2013-14 in his Senior season.

Charles Mann’s ability to draw fouls, play physical and be a 6’5″ 215 pound Point Guard makes him a difficult matchup for any opponent.  Mann can also rebound like a forward and is a major reason why Georgia outrebounded opponents the majority of the time last season.  Posting up on smaller guards and attacking the paint provides the Dawgs with an adequate way to test the interior of defenses with four perimeter oriented players on the floor.

Charles Mann:  By the Numbers

Charles Mann’s inconsistency on both offense and defense have been maddening, but his turnovers are decreasing ,contrary to popular belief.  Some important takeaways from Charles Mann’s overall metrics:

  • Mann’s Free Throw shooting regressed from his Sophomore Season.
  • Mann visited the Free Throw Line at his proportionally lowest rate last season.
  • Mann has shown a propensity to commit fouls himself on the offensive end, this may change next season.
  • Mann has declined as a three point shooter during his time at UGA, defenders have sagged on him.
  • Mann is an average defender at best, in fact his steals rate was at its lowest last season.
  • Mann was less responsible as far as win shares last season than in his Sophomore season.
  • Mann played the role of a distributor a little bit more last season.
  • On the defensive boards, Charles Mann must be accounted by opponents or else his presence can make up for a greener frontcourt in a big way.

In the notable games that opponents played predominantly zone defense, Mann averaged five assists.  Against more notable pressure Man-to-Man defenses and looks, Mann struggled distributing the basketball averaging 2.4 assists per game.

Interestingly, offensive fouls per game is not a metric that is measured and offensive fouls are not treated as a disparate statistic in of itself.  This would be an intriguing statistic to juxtapose as it relates to Charles Mann’s turnover and overall personal foul count.  Mann’s defensive struggles and passiveness may be linked to his foul count on the offensive end.

Charles Mann Offseason Work to Do

  • Free Throw Shooting:  Mann has been a radically inconsistent Free Throw shooter.  His Free Throw shooting motion resembles a player that is truly uncomfortable with the activity.  There is too much body movement one way or another in his shot.  He also does not seem comfortable with how the ball is held when taking the shot.  His shooting velocity is much faster in the first 35 minutes of a game compared to the last 5 minutes, which has coincided with a better Free Throw shooting rate in the last 5 minutes of games.
  • Perimeter Shooting:  Coming into the 2014-15 season, Mann will be the weakest shooter on the perimeter on the team assuming that Juwan Parker overcomes the yips in some way.  Mann is a liability on the perimeter as defenses can take an extreme approach to defending him.  Defenses can sag off and let Mann shoot, which can enable a defender to possibly take on a zone approach when Mann is in the vicinity OR pressure Mann and make him feel uncomfortable.
  • Handling Pressure:  Senior Point Guards MUST be able to handle pressure defense whether it be in the form of a press, trap or pressure Man-to-Man.  Mann has not responded well to this pressure and either tries to do too much or tightens up, either way he needs to practice handling this pressure either through practicing against a double team or sparring with Will Jackson hounding him whenever he has the ball.

Expectations for Next Season

The new NCAA rules and points of emphasis will benefit Charles Mann greatly as they did in 2013-14.  The NCAA officiating crews must be more consistent with the officiating and vigilant as far as the new policies are concerned.  Too many media pundits and personalities are going to be critical if the game degenerates because of the unwillingness to make the right calls.

Mann will be able to drive the lane with more confidence and with more experience now knows how to exploit lazy defenders or defenders that are too late to catch up to his dribble drive effort.  The necessity for Mann to improve at the Free Throw line will help him as he will probably end up being around a 71% Free Throw shooter, it is a shame that he is the poorest Free Throw shooter on the team considering how often he gets to the stripe.

Mann’s three point shooting rate will probably return to 2013-14 levels, but not rise any further.  Mann seems uncomfortable as a shooter because he has yet to figure out the best way to handle the ball when shooting, it is a similar to tale to current NBA guard Rajon Rondo who experienced similar struggles at Kentucky.  Rondo was a defensive ace though as he averaged 2.6 steals per game as a freshman and 2 steals per game as a sophomore.  Rondo was an awful shooter at Kentucky averaging 28.3% from beyond the arc and 57.7% at the Free Throw Line during his tenure in Lexington.  Rondo only improved a little as a shooter in the NBA raising his Free Throw shooting percentage to 61% and the NBA 3 point line proved to be more daunting than college.

Mann may see a small cutback in playing time because of the overall depth of the backcourt.  Will Jackson and J.J. Frazier will cut into Mann’s time on the floor, but it will not change the attacking mentality of the offense.  Georgia’s offensive identity may just be an aggressive approach to getting the ball into the paint by any means necessary.  Teams that wish to foul Mann on the perimeter or mistakenly foul Mann on the perimeter are not making a wise decision.  Mann’s ability to pick up defensive rebounds makes him an asset on the defensive end as far as cutting off second chance opportunities.  The overall ability of the Georgia backcourt to rebound the basketball and attack the paint at will should make up for the inexperience of the frontcourt or at least buy time for the frontcourt to develop chemistry.

Next season Charles Mann’s stats projected:  28 minutes per game, 15 points per game, 5 rebounds per game, 1 steal per game, 6 assists per game.

Six assists!?!  Yes, teams will zone UGA possibly with more regularity to test out our shooters and to take away the dribble-drive.  Mann will likely be placed in the middle of the most common zone defense, which is the 2-3 Zone.  Teams that are typically man oriented on defense sporting a zone against UGA will struggle as Mann will either start his attack at the Free Throw Line or set up passes to wide open shooters or cutters.